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Playtime is an important part of your baby’s learning and development. The more time you allow your baby to play, the more practice they have with new movements and skills. It is also an opportunity to build a stronger bond with your baby.  

Playtime for newborns can be interacting with games and toys. It should also be a time to encourage talking, touching, listening, and interaction between you and your baby. Singing and reading stories are wonderful ways to play with your baby too. 

24 hour movement guidelines

Benefits of playtime 

Spread playtime throughout the day.  There are many benefits for your baby such as: 

  • Building confidence in their body movements 

  • Understanding and recognising emotions 

  • Developing social skills, language, and communication 

  • Learning to care for others 

  • Developing physical skills 

               - Reaching, grasping, pushing and pulling 

               - Strengthening neck and upper body muscles needed to hold their head up and move around.  

  • Feeling loved, happy, and safe  

Always watch babies while they play, as they can move quickly once they develop new skills. Keep the following in mind during play and tummy time:  

  • Remove any dangerous hazards from your baby’s reach 

  • Keep a close eye on pets 

  • Pick up any small objects that your baby could put into their mouth 

Watch this video from Raising Children Network to see how play can help with development.

[Source: Raising Children Network, 2022; The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, 2020.] 


Play is an important part of your baby’s development and can be used throughout your daily routine.

In the first 12 months of your child’s life, your baby is learning and developing every day.

By around 8-12 months, your baby will start to move more by crawling, climbing, standing and cruising.

Giving your baby time on their tummy will help to build up strength to lift and hold they head and shoulders up.